Conference article

Polygloss - A conversational agent for language practice

Etiene da Cruz Dalcol
Queen Mary University London, UK

Massimo Poesio
Queen Mary University London, UK

Download articlehttps://doi.org/10.3384/ecp2017521

Published in: Proceedings of the 9th Workshop on Natural Language Processing for Computer Assisted Language Learning (NLP4CALL 2020)

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 175:3, s. 21-36

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Published: 2020-11-20

ISBN: 978-91-7929-732-9

ISSN: 1650-3686 (print), 1650-3740 (online)

Abstract

This paper explores the impact in language proficiency of output-related theories of second language acquisition (SLA) applied in computer assisted language learning (CALL). Targeting speakers of intermediate level, we adapted a visually-grounded dialogue task, optimizing for language acquisition. The task was implemented as a mobile application where learners are organized in pairs and write short texts to play an image-guessing game, producing samples in a wide variety of languages. Following a framework for CALL evaluation, we conducted an analysis of the game and players’ gains throughout the number of rounds played, including the measure of pre-trained XLM-r cross-lingual transformers’ acceptability score of the samples. The results confirm the intended fit for intermediate speakers as well as reveal possible benefits for beginners. This research, thus, contributes as a successful case study of a multilingual CALL design where users have the autonomy to generate output creatively.

Keywords

Computer Assisted Language Learning, Asynchronous Computer Mediated Communication, Comprehensible Output, Critical Pedagogy in Language Learning, Multilingual CALL

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